Technical, extension officers get emergency response training
Twenty-seven technical staff and extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture have begun a training programme by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to strengthen Guyana’s agricultural disaster resilience and emergency response capacities.
The two-day workshop opened on Wednesday, at the Caribbean Inn Inc., Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.
The training will help participants identify effective strategies that may be implemented locally to promote farm level resilience to disasters caused by hazards.
It targeted officers from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), and the Department of Fisheries.
FAO’s National Technical Officer, Oleta Williams told DPI that the approach is part of a 12-month project that focuses mainly on emergency response during the 2021 floods.
The first phase of the project saw massive partnerships among the FOA, GLDA and NAREI distributing several agriculture and livestock inputs to farmers in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten.
“As of March, we were able to successfully distribute a number of livestock medication, small hand tools, seeds and so on to over 400 farmers in six regions of Guyana,” Williams noted.
The FAO has collaborated with the fisheries department in its second phase to provide support to some 100 fisherfolk in those identified regions.
The technical officer said the organisation is happy to collaborate with the agriculture ministry through the booster seminar, which will see participants from the target agencies adopting new skills and knowledge to further advance the nation’s food sector.
FAO’s Livestock Development Officer, Tania Hoost said the organisation will provide assistance in agriculture and livestock inputs to over 1000 farmers at the end of the final phase.
She emphasised that FAO recognises the agriculture ministry’s ongoing training agenda, and is happy to scale up the efforts at the institutional level.
“Specifically, one of the main ways we hope to do this is by identifying specific and effective strategies that may be implemented locally to promote farm level resilience to disasters caused by natural hazards,” Hoost noted.
The ministry’s Chief Technical Officer, George Jervis said government is always open to supporting ventures of these nature, “because this workshop really speaks to the heart of most of what we spend our money on.”
He stressed the need for the technical and field officers to always be vigilant, noting that their job requires efforts way beyond an eight-hour day.